So, it’s been a while….

So the wedding has been and gone, some 5months ago now! Everything got ontop of me and I stopped blogging. I hadn’t even checked on this little blog of mine til today and there’s been plenty of people dropping by. So sorry for not being around. I’m actually undertaking a new adventure and setting up my own business called Amy’s Button Box, specialising in running bespoke craft parties for ladies who want to celebrate in style with the people they love. So look in on my new adventure at www.amysbuttonbox.wordpress.com and if you’d like me to arrange a craft workshop party in your home get in touch! Xxx Amy C (was D) xxx

(providing Bespoke Craft  Parties in Fleet, Hampshire and surrounding areas)

October 26, 2012. Crafts, DIY, Hen Party, Wedding. Leave a comment.

19 weekends and counting: Headband & Bridesmaids…

So I decided to make my own headband/tiara…..

I saw a beautiful one in a local bridal shop Tilly Mint, but it had a £400 price tag, I thought to myself “I could do that” and so off I went to buy some beautiful crystals from Beadworks in Covent Garden and a headband from Claire’s Accessories, originally it had little pearl beads on so I took it apart and removed the pearl beads. I spent a day on the sofa in front of the telly and ended up with a half finished product….

 

But I think the colours are too ‘cold’ so I’ve bought some warmer coloured crystals and some gold wire to hopefully ‘warm’ it up. I’ll keep you posted…..

On a side note, if I weren’t having my dress made I think I probably would have bought my dress from Tilly Mint, the staff were SO helpful and lovely and kind. And the inside of the shop is just delish! (Also, my mum used to call me Tilly Mint when I was a little girl so it’d be kind of sweet!)

Now, Bridesmaids and their dresses……

It was all sorted, then it wasn’t now I think it is again. Here’s the story….

I started with 3 bridesmaids, now I have 4 fabulous girlies to help me on the day…

Initially I toyed with the idea of a 1950s style pencil dress a la Vivien of Holloway

But my Bridesmaids were worried it would draw too much attention to the hips, and I was worried that they’d feel constricted in a fitted dress.

Then I thought about 50s style full circle dresses…

But I didn’t want our wedding to start looking 50s themed, please don’t get me wrong, I love the 50s vibe, it’s just not the look I’m going for with our wedding.

Then I saw a Jason Wu dress, that looked like the perfect compromise in terms of shape…

I loved it, the Bridesmaids loved it….done!

Then the hard part….the fabric!

It took lots of trips to the fabric shops on Goldhawk Road, London (an amazing treasure trove of fabric shops, selling fabric at reasonable prices) & lots of samples from my dressmaker and I finally found a great bold, colourful floral….

…fabulous but I thought it would be too much for 4 dresses, I decided to use it for my Chief Bridesmaid’s dress and so the search began for a fabric to match the floral. More trips to Goldhawk Road and more samples from my dressmaker, found a lovely silk in the perfect colour, but with a not so lovely price-tag. Cue another (stressful!) trip to Goldhawk Road, after visiting EVERY fabric shop on Goldhawk Road I finally set upon a lovely purple fabric and bargained the man down to £5 per metre. Phew!

Then there was the dressmaker saga. Well, not so much a saga, as a lack of foresight leading to complications, leading to the need for a new dressmaker.

My wedding dress dressmaker, Annie Wallwork of Ann’s Couture was originally going to make them, it made sense, she is fabulous, so of course she was the natural choice. However she lives in Cornwall, my Bridesmaids live in London, my Chief Bridesmaid lives in Germany this equaled a pain in the neck getting them all together anyway, never mind shipping them all down to Cornwall for a weekend, this would have been fine had it not been for the RIDICULOUS train prices! £100 return from London to Truro! PER PERSON!

Cue a couple of hours spent on-line for nice, purple Bridesmaids dresses that don’t cost the earth, apparently purple is not ‘in’ this season, not yet anyway.

Then…a brainwave! My fabulous friend Miss Miri who works mainly in costume for the Theatre and who is a dab hand with the dewing machine…. a few emails later and I have a new dressmaker for the girls, who can do the fittings at my house! Emails sent to the girls with provisional fitting dates…everyone is free…dates in diary…phew!

Lessons learnt…

  1. If you want a simple life, stick to a white wedding dress…every colour goes with white so you have a lovely wide colour palette to work from.
  2. Buy your dresses from the High Street, have an open mind.

January 21, 2012. 50s, Bridesmaids, DIY, Dressmaking, Fabric, Wedding. Leave a comment.

What we did…Rock My Wedding Real Brides Hen Party

We arrived at our lovely venue, our coats were taken, and we quenched our thirst with a lovely glass of lemonade that was sporting a Rock My Wedding Hen Party stirrer!

We all said hello, it was a strange experience, strange because we have been chatting to one another on-line, almost daily, for months, but we had never actually met. We had discussed all sorts of things from what we were wearing to problems we’d encountered with friends and family with regards to the wedding. It was great to finally meet and put a ‘person’ to the little Facebook face we’d been chatting to!

Charlotte, Adam and Kim had laid on a feast of events!

There was jewellery making….I made a lovely little hairpin (completely inspired by the fabulous hairband made by the fabulous Amanda Champness – Rock My Wedding’s DIY Bride.) Leading the jewellery making experience was the lovely Samantha Neville from mamfiibridal.co.uk (an Award Winning Surrey based bridal shop), she had laid out all these boxes of crystals and diamante and we were allowed to pick and choose as many items as we liked and could make anything from headbands to earrings, bracelets, hairpins etc. Sam was also good enough to give me some advice on the crystal hairpiece I’m making (more on that hopefully this weekend!), she even gave me a few diamante pieces to add into my little project! Definitely a real sweetie who loves what she does.

There was a bit of decoupage, we were each given a cardboard letter – they’d even gone to the extent of us all having the first letter of our name! And there was a table full of glue, paint, paper and fabric, and we had free reign! Inspired by my love of brown paper (I have a whole Board dedicated to the subject over on Pinterest) I decided to just add a few bits of beautiful beaded lace to my letter A.

Then we had little sandwiches and cakes – the vanilla buttercream cupcake was to die for!

Then the fabulous and eccentric Sev Hubert from The Hepburn Collection did our hair and the lovely Mariam Jensen did our make up and lashes! I wish I had taken some photos now, I am sure there will be some on RMW soon.

It was the most perfect afternoon! Crafting, cake, cocktails and lots and lots of guilt-free wedding talk!

I wish I had written this post sooner after the event, I feel like I have missed some vital details but this week has been crazy busy and this is the best I’ve been able to do.

My own Hen Party is in early April, and I have NO IDEA what will be taking place! I have been given a weekend to keep clear and that is it! I have emailed them with what I’d like to do and a list of people, but whether that’s what we’ll do I have no idea, I know they’ve had their own plans all along. Little bit nervous if I am honest, I do trust my girlies, but truth be told I am a bit of a control freak!

Are you planning your own hen do or have you handed over responsibility to your Bridesmaids?

What would your dream Hen Do look like?

January 20, 2012. Accessories, Crafts, Decoration, DIY, Hen Party. Leave a comment.

20 weekends and counting…and the invitations are done…

I’ve started counting down in weekends now as that is when I have most time to jobs for the wedding. We now have 20 weekends to go… panic much!

The past two weeks have been very busy, with work and family reunions and meeting new friends, all that and finalising the design of the wedding invitations!

I wanted to do the invitations on Adobe Illustrator, but couldn’t really justify the expenditure to buy the software. But I took inspiration from Rock My Wedding Real Bride Kelly Hardman who uses Microsoft PowerPoint. I had never used PowerPoint to create anything like this but I thought I would give it a go. Admittedly you don’t have the flexibility that you would have when using a professional graphics product, that said I am more than happy with the results I have managed to achieve, please let me know what you think!

We wanted the ceremony invitation to be a more formal affair, but we still wanted it to reflect us as a couple, so Neil edited the image we had taken for our Save the Date cards and we made it into a banner to go across the top of the invitation. The font we used was HandTIMES from Dafont.com.

It had a nice formal quality to the shape but the hand-drawn effect made it feel more relaxed and more appropriate for our beachside wedding.

We wanted the Reception Invitation to have a more relaxed and fun quality to them. Initially I liked the idea of a carnival inspired invitation and I had Pinned (if you’re not familiar with Pinterest, you have to check it out!) a few to my Wedding Ideas Pin Board:

These beauties were designed by Erica Miller over at Thoughtful Day, she really does produce some fabulous work. I had wanted to show you what I had managed to create but I can’t find the file. Anyway, Neil felt that it was a bit too ‘themed’ for our wedding so it was back to the drawing board.

I had liked all the typographic based invites out there and so I started playing around. Our wedding colours are turquoise and fuchsia and I’ve used the colours as backgrounds for the Reception and Evening Reception invites. I’m not going to lie, it took AGES, about a month in total, working on them on and off, downloading countless fonts from dafont.com. Here is what we ended up with:

Hopefully it conveys the more relaxed feel we want from our wedding reception. It was great fun to produce however the last week before it was finished I was getting tired of tweaks and changes but I am happy with the results.

And finally… the Evening Reception invite, we wanted this to be simple and bold. I had seen this print some time ago, and loved the quote on it:

So I took the words and the font Grenadier from dafont.com and created this:

And so the invites are designed, we have sent them off to the printers, they should arrive next week!

We decided to use Vistaprint.co.uk on this occasion, just because of their price, we had used moo.com for our Save the Dates but they were more expensive. Whilst the price of Vistaprint.co.uk was cheaper than moo.com it was much more fiddly and complicated to use and we had to do lots of formatting to the images we had created using PowerPoint to get them to fit. For ease of use I’d definitely recommend moo.com, but you can’t argue with the price of Vistaprint.co.uk.

All of the information regarding times and detailed locations are being printed on the back of the cards and we opted to go for Vistaprint’s Oversized Postcard option.

Are any of you designing your invitations? Where have you found your inspiration?

What do you think of the fact that the invitations don’t ‘match’ one another? I like the fact that the different ‘feels’ for the different parts of the day are conveyed in the invites. That and I don’t like things to be too ‘matchy matchy’.

Please feel free to comment…the Blogosphere can be a lonely place at times!

January 15, 2012. DIY, Invites, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Pay it Forward Handmade….

A new friend I’ve made through my entry into the RMW (Rock My Wedding) Guest blogger competition has suggested I try this Pay it Forward Handmade to kickstart my crafting again. To read her story of why she  joined the Pay it Forward Handmade follow this link.

Laura is due to get something handmade from Fiona and in turn I will get something from Laura.

All I have to do is offer three bloggers the chance to recieve something handmade from me.

Here are the rules (which I pinched from Annika’s blog!)

1. You have to have a blog.

2. I will make a little something for the first 3 blog owners who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and I will make it and send it to you some time during the next 365 days after you have commented.

3. Make sure you let me know your email address, so that I can get your contact details.

4. To get a handmade present from me, you have to play too! This means YOU pledge to send a little handmade something to 3 readers of your blog. It doesn’t matter what you give, as long as it is handmade by you!

5. Once you comment here, you need to post about your Pay It Forward on your blog to keep the fun going – you can just copy the rules from me and please include the Pay It Forward badge in your post. Also, feel free to join the Flickr group to see what else is being sent!

6. Follow my blog. (Thank you!)

I think this will be a great way to kickstart my crafting, so if you would like to receive something handmade from me, just leave a comment below!

Exciting!

July 13, 2011. Crafts, DIY, Sewing, Things to achieve.... Leave a comment.

Blogging and creativity….

I love reading other people’s blogs, I love looking at what projects they’ve worked one, my consumption of paper based magazines has dropped dramatically now that on a click of a button I can find any number of incredibly creative people to read about. And I love it. It has become grossly addictive. What I am worried about is that I am spending all my time LOOKING at what OTHER PEOPLE have done and I’m not using the time to DO THOSE THINGS MYSELF!

I’ve always been a little afraid of making things, I love making things, but I always worry before I get started that whatever I want to make won’t be good enough, and more often than not this worry stops me from actually creating anything. I have so many bits and pieces of projects I started or wanted to start, and they sit there in my study (which is a place of pure chaos at present – I think this is another ‘tool’ I use to stop myself making things) reminding me that I never did start/quite finish that project………

Your thoughts?

July 10, 2011. Crafts, DIY, Things to achieve.... 1 comment.

Progress so far on my ‘Things to achieve…’

  1. Go to a “pick your own” fruit and veg farm
  2. Try oysters
  3. Buy and wear a fabulous 50s style dress (including hair and make-up)
  4. Have a fabulous, glam picnic with friends
  5. Make homemade pink lemonade and ginger ale
  6. Go on a kayaking adventure (I’ve just passed my Level 1 Kayak course and started my Level 2!)
  7. Do a little mini tour taking in just a few fabulous British tearooms/cake shops (starting of course with the fabulous Maison Bertaux, Soho, London)
  8. Go on a London Bus Tour
  9. Go for at least one ‘Wild Swim’
  10. Spend a day walking some of the Thames Path
  11. Visit Eltham Palace
  12. Make a dress
I’m off on my first extended Kayak trip in several years, off for a little paddle down the River Wey, it’s a 6 mile trip, think I’ll be pretty wrecked on Monday! I’ll let you know how it goes, I’ll try to take some photos, could probably do with a waterproof camera, that might need to go on my Christmas wish list….So part of Number 6 will be complete by Sunday – I say part because I want to do many more kayaking expeditions this year…
Number 12 – I have bought a dress pattern….
Exciting!
Just need to buy the fabric now…..

June 17, 2011. 50s, DIY, Dressmaking, Sewing, Things to achieve.... 1 comment.

Make it visual…

I love the way that Beth at homestoriesatoz.com has made her family’s Summer To Do List a visual one…

I’m going to have a little think about how I present mine, it’ll be my project for the weekend, stay tuned for the results…

 

 

After a little scour of the internet it seems that I’m not the only person inspired by Beth’s idea….

I love the craftiness of this one by Allison Landy at Simplestories.typepad.com…

June 11, 2011. Crafts, DIY, Things to achieve.... Leave a comment.

The cake…

As soon as I got engaged I knew that I wanted my cake to be from Maison Bertaux, Soho, London.

I have been going to Maison Bertaux regularly since I stumbled across it on a wander around London in the first few months of living there. Now that I no longer live in London I always make sure that whenever in London I make a detour when I’m visiting, even if it means travelling right the way across London.

I have taken pretty much everyone I know to Maison Bertaux, it has to be my favourite place in London and pretty much acts like my ‘North Star’ and I navigate myself around London based upon its location.

There is also a closer family link that I didn’t even know about until after I’d been visting Maison Bertaux for about 2 years. My Auntie who is as scatty as I got her wedding cake, a majestic Croque en bouche, from Maison Bertaux. I have vivid memories of my Aunties majestic cake standing tall in the living room of her London flat when I was about 6 years old. On a visit to her house I was telling her all about this fantastic little independent patisserie I had stumbled across, she told me that Maison Bertaux was where she got her wedding cake! There are more of these funny little links to family in other parts of our wedding. There is a whole story about my Auntie and her new Husband carefully carrying the 4ft tall croque-en-bouche in the back of a London cab! Needless to say the staff at Maison Bertaux were a bit disconcerted when the black cab arrived and the cake, along with my Auntie and Uncle disappeared off to Stoke Newington, London.

I have pictures somewhere of my Auntie’s cake and I will post them when I manage to dig them out.

Click the link to read more about my cake adventures…

(more…)

June 4, 2011. Baking, Cake, DIY, Wedding. Leave a comment.

Table Centre Ideas – Ikea

Jugs with pretty flowers….

Sockerart from £6.99

Galvanised Tin Buckets….

Hosto Bucket £5.10

Socker Plant Pot from £1.32

Socker Vase pair £9.99

Stockholm Bowl £20.42

Persika £2.03

Salong £2.85

April 16, 2011. Decoration, DIY, Venue, Wedding. Leave a comment.

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